Rolling Thunder

Author: Paul Sumner
Publisher: U. S. Gold
Machine: Spectrum 48K

Published in Crash #50

Rolling Thunder

Geldra, another ruthless megalomaniac, controls a secret organisation that threatens world domination and the like. He and his evil crew must be stopped before it is too late, as usual.

So top agent Albatross is assigned to penetrate the headquarters of Geldra's gang.

But this is going to be no mere perambulation through ten horizontally-scrolling levels of a secret organisation s HO before confronting the leader in a final showdown, oh no. Crawling from the woodwork and dashing from doors are hordes of Geldra's hooded thugs who, we are told, 'will shoot, punch and drop bombs on you. inexorably draining your energy'. (Look - they weren't hired to be original, right?)

Rolling Thunder

But Geldra's crew is not the only obstacle Albatross must overcome. Automatic lasers with deadly fire, and a lava pool with a vicious complement of 'fire-men', await the secret agent. And Albatross has just four lives to take him through the network of passageways, doorways and balconies.

With reactions the speed of light, Albatross can easily leap above or duck beneath a hail of bullets, and he carries a pistol and a machine gun.


Joysticks: Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: jerkily-animated main characters, simple backgrounds
Sound: a couple of interesting tunes, with good sound effects

Gordon ... 34%

'This is so frustrating! The game structure is appealing (if unoriginal) but the action is annoying. It's not as though Rolling Thunder is easy to begin with - not only do you have to watch out for the enemy getting too dose, but you've also got to keep a lookout for bullets you can hardly see. Otherwise it's fair: the characters are reasonably well-drawn but jerkily animated, and the backgrounds are more functional than decorative, simple line drawings set in gaudy colours. But forget the passable graphics - Rolling Thunder is marred by tedious gameplay. Why do you have to get sent right back to the start of a level whenever you're killed? The potential is there for a really smart game; perhaps if it had been play-tested more Rolling Thunder would have realised that potential rather than failing this way.'

Paul ... 59%

'I'm very impressed with this - but most players will find it very, very hard. It's a simply-laid-out but expansive (especially in the second area) platform shoot-'em-up. There's not much colour, but it's well used - creating very detailed and varied impressions. And the sound effects break up the monotony of running (Impossible Mission-style) and often hint at what Geldra's guards are going to try next. I didn't get even the slightest bit infuriated with this very enjoyable game, despite the 'going back to the start' syndrome that annoyed other reviewers - mind you, I am pretty good at it!'

Paul SumnerGordon Houghton

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